Arizona’s new cellphone ban for drivers

The state has recently undergone a major change in its traffic safety laws. Last month, the governor signed a bill banning the use of handheld cellphones while driving. Today, we’ll discuss the basics of this new law.

What is prohibited?

The law fully bans holding a cellphone when driving. This includes doing this to:

  • Text
  • Make or take calls
  • Check maps
  • Use the internet

Are there exceptions?

The new law does allow drivers to use cellphones with hands-free systems. Also, holding a phone is not banned when a car is parked or stopped at a red light.

When does the ban take effect?

Most of the law went into effect immediately. So, handheld phone use while driving is technically illegal in Arizona right now.

However, until January 2021, police can only issue warnings for violating the ban. Once 2021 starts, drivers will be subject to fines for violations.

What about local laws?

Currently, there are a range of cities in Arizona that have their own bans on cellphone use by drivers. In January 2021, these local laws will go out of effect, with the state ban taking full control.

However, until that point, the local laws can continue to be enforced. Also, up until 2021, cities can pass new bans as long as they are not stricter than the state ban.

Driving laws and traffic safety

This marks a big shift for Arizona. Previously, the state was among the small minority that did not have a full ban on texting while driving.

Distracted driving is a major traffic safety problem. When drivers let their attention drift to their cellphone or other distractions, it can lead to serious crashes that forever alter people’s lives. So, what impacts new traffic safety laws have on the prevalence of distracted driving is a very important issue.

What are your thoughts on Arizona’s ban? Do you think it will lead to big drops in distracted driving in the state? What impacts on overall traffic safety do you think it will have?

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
  • Maricopa Country Bar Association
  • State Bar Of Arizona
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit

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